The Red Bull Formula One team have confirmed that McLaren technical director Adrian Newey will join them for the start of next season.
A Red Bull spokesman said: “Newey will join the team as chief technical officer at the end of February 2006.” The 46-year-old Englishman has won four world titles with Williams and a further two at McLaren.
Newey came close to joining the Jaguar team from McLaren in 2001, but after a legal battle stayed put. Rumours then suggested that he would end his days at McLaren before going on to become involved in the design of racing yachts. Red Bull appears to have pulled off a major coup, if Newey is serious this time.
Newey, who wrote a paper on helicopter rotor blades as part of his degree work, will join the team too late to have much input into the design of next years car, which will be powered by a Ferrari V8, but more seriously, his departure WILL have an effect on next years McLaren. Ron Dennis will certainly be trying to protect the teams intellectual rights as regards his teams new contender, but the more important questions are, how will Newey’s departure affect the stability of McLaren’s design team, and who will replace him?
Red Bull of course will be financing two teams next year, and it can only be a matter of time before they have to seek outside sponsorship, and the arrival of Newey will be a huge bargaining tool.
In their first season after taking over the Jaguar team, Red Bull finished seventh in the constructors’ championship, with Coulthard 12th in the drivers’ championship, and will undoubtedly want to improve upon this, whereas Newey will want to end next year as close to, if not in front off his old team as possible. Only time will tell.
Daily F1 News